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Managing the Public Relations RFP Process To Identify Qualified Agencies

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Identifying and hiring a public relations agency takes many hours of dedicated time and energy. The presentation was made during the PRSA Conference in October 2010. It outlines the most important ...

Identifying and hiring a public relations agency takes many hours of dedicated time and energy. The presentation was made during the PRSA Conference in October 2010. It outlines the most important steps and processes needed to manage the RFP process to ensure an amicable long-term relationship between client and firm.

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Managing the Public Relations RFP Process To Identify Qualified Agencies Managing the Public Relations RFP Process To Identify Qualified Agencies Presentation Transcript

  • PRSA Conference Workshop Best Business Practices: 
 Strategy, Writing and Managing 
 the RFP Process Tuesday, October 19! 8:00 am – 9:15 am
  • Introductions
  • Introductions
  • Agenda "   Top Concerns" "   The RFQ" "   The RFP" "   The Selection Process" "   Presentations" "   Evaluations" "   Sealing the Deal" "   Q&A
  • System Is Broken
  • Snapshot: Top Concerns
 Of PR Agencies "   Short deadlines" "   Budget not provided" "   Incomplete scope of work" "   Exhaustive response required" RFP "   Wired for particular agency" "   Poorly written RFP = difficult client
  • Snapshot: Top Concerns of Organizations "   Daunting process" "   Recognizing the differences between agencies" "   Keeping the process open and fair" "   Boilerplate response" RFP "   Bait and switch/ turnover" "   Keeping promises/ delivering results"
  • Getting Started "  Assessing the need" "  Internal audit" "  Current agency relationship (do you include them?)" "  Set aside the time and resources" "  2+ months " "  Organization-wide
 support"
  • Search Criteria "   Size" "   Services" "   Specialty" "   Geography" "   Track record
  • Pre-screening "   Identify agencies" "   Due diligence (legal, financial)" "   Website reviews" "   Request For Qualifications (RFQs)
  • About RFQs "   Invitation" "   Invaluable" "   Starts your scorecard" "   Determines conflicts" "   Prepares agencies
  • The RFQ - Basics "   Request all the “vitals”" "   History" "   Areas of specialty" "   Approach to PR" "   Current client list" "   Billing policy" "   Rigid format"
  • The RFQ – Digging Deeper "   “Big Ideas”" "   Best results" "   Ideal client/agency relationship" "   Philosophy" "   Account team organization" "   Unique Value Proposition" "   What havenʼt we asked?
  • Developing the RFP "   Internal committee" "   Timeline" "   Contact agencies picked from RFQ"
  • Elements of the RFP "   Cover letter" "   Reason for RFP" "   Background on your organization" "   Previous programs
  • Elements of the RFP "   Scope of work " "   Budget" "   Sensitivities/Issues" "   Timeline" "   Request electronic copies"
  • Developing the RFP "   Establish point of contact
 "   Establish date/time for call
 "   Spec work?" "   Establish format"
  • Developing the RFP "   PRSA Code of Ethics
 "   Sample contract
 "   Establish date/time 
 for call" Demonstrate the value of your business! !
  • Must Haves "   Relevant background
 "   Agency structure
 "   Account team bios
 "   Provide case studies"
  • The Post RFP Period "   Take notes – use scorecard" "   Every exchange counts" "   Managing agency questions" "   Site visits" "   “Even Steven?”
  • Evaluating Responses "   Read the RFP" "   Refer to the RFQ" "   Voting weight" "   Watch for typos, boilerplate
  • Presentations "   Format " "   A/V" "   Agenda" "   Participants" "   Managing the process" "   Require actual team" "   Prep your internal committee" "   On-site/off-site
  • Presentations "   Create a new scorecard
 "   Make it clear that presentation is not to repeat the proposal
 "   Pay attention to: " "   how the agency describes its philosophy and approach to client work" "   how they demonstrate creativity" "   who will be your main contact"
  • Chemistry "   Rapport is important" "   Appropriate ambassadors?" "   Media "" "   Staff" "   Board" "   The “marriage” test" "   Use gut
  • Making It Official "   Notify winning agency first" "   no announcements until contract is signed" "   Schedule first meeting" "   Get contract for your review – and legalʼs – quickly" "   Contract comes from the agency" "   Notify other bidding agencies by personal phone call
  • A Successful Partnership "   Make the agency part of your team - keep them informed of everything thatʼs going on" "   3-month review " "   Review invoices" "   Be a good client " "   Celebrate the successes!
  • Q&A
  • Handout – 10 Steps 1.  Assess your organization" 6. Produce the RFP" 2.  Create search criteria" 7.Evaluate" 3.  Budget" 8. Finalists" 4.  Create scorecard " (see samples) 9. Structure the presentation" 5.  Issue RFQ 10.Watch for good chemistry
  • Thank You! Helen Sullivan, APR, Fellow PRSA! 703.847.9702
 hs@inhouse-com.com Robert Udowitz ! 703.621.8060
 rudowitz@rfpassociates.net
  • PRSA Conference Workshop Best Business Practices: 
 Strategy, Writing and Managing 
 the RFP Process Tuesday, October 19
 8:00 am – 9:15 am